Ask someone what his dream is, you would see a glowing face. Ask him what his biggest fear is, you might not see the same response, at least not from me. I am a man surrounded by fears and the biggest of them is the fear of death.
Though I am yet to come close to death or yet to go through the pain of losing someone, I did have an encounter at a very early age. The scars are very much ripe in my memories.
I exactly don’t remember how old I was but I can recollect that I enjoyed my mother feeding me food before and after school, the merits of being a first born child.
Summer vacation was on, my parents decided to take us to a trip to Tirupati, Mahabalipuram and Madras (now Chennai). Vacations were quite rare for us since both my parents were working. My younger brother and me were really looking forward to this 10-day-long vacation. Even before our tickets were booked, we began boasting about our grand vacation to the friends in our housing society.
Born into a Railways family, vacations were fun especially with the long distance train trips. Our first stop was at Tirupati, the religious spot located at the top of seven mountains. The thirty minutes drive on a government bus to the top of the mountain is no less than a roller coaster ride. By the end of the trip at least five or six people are found vomiting while the rest of us are smiling, trying to hide our fears.
After spending two days having enough of South Indian delicacies and offering hair to the lord, the four of us were ready to say goodbye to the devotional spot. While I was unhappy with the bald look in my photographs, I was excited to visit the next destination, Mahabalipuram.
After a quick breakfast of steamed idlis and filter coffee, we decided to leave early before the sun peeped out. My brother sat with my mom, my dad was sitting next to the driver right in front of the bus and I was sitting in the middle. The bus was packed in no time and started rolling to go down with people at the back chanting devotional songs.
As cold winds blew, I dozed off and the next thing I recollect is hearing a big bang with people shouting and crying. I woke up to realize that our bus had met with an accident. Gathering some strength, I looked for my brother and mother; finding them all well, I shouted for my dad and saw him standing next to me.
The bus had no major casualties – it was a miracle, they said. I still have those visuals before my eyes.
We boarded another bus, came back to the station in silence. My brother was scared, he had minor injuries along with my mother; I had small injuries too but all of us were chocked with fear – the fear of losing each other. My dad took charge of the situation and we cancelled our trip to Mahabalipuram. Instead we went to Madras, stayed a few days together spending more time as a family.
The bus driver had lost control at one of the turns. All the passengers were lucky as the bus was stopped by a big rock, otherwise it could have ended up at a place from where finding our body parts would have been impossible.
My dad spoke to me about the accident much later and he was the only one who was not panicking. May be he was not showing his fears or he was really strong as he had seen too many deaths at a very tender age.
I have a school friend who lost his mother at a very early age which changed his life big time. When I look back I can only thank the Almighty that I had my parents to always be there for me. Not everyone is lucky like me, and I realize that.
I have learnt to overpower most of my fears and appreciate life more but the fear of death lives on. I know I can’t change the ultimate truth of life but I can always appreciate life and ensure that my family is protected when I reach my ultimate end.
P.S. This story is a part of the Max Life Insurance campaign – #SecondChance